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Archive for the ‘car crash’ Category

PostHeaderIcon Man Comes Up With Worst Excuse Ever After Crashing Mustang

I feel sorry for all of you responsible Mustang owners out there; I really do. Some of you actually know how to drive a rear-wheel-drive Ford, but the very car you love has been forever tainted by the absurd number of idiots that keep crashing the damn things. Year after year, Mustangs die at the hands of drivers with no skill and even less intelligence, usually after a Cars & Coffee meet, but this most recent crash really takes the cake. Not because of when or where it happened, but because of the excuse the 24-year-old driver of the black Mustang you see above came up with. What was that excuse? Well, he supposedly swerved to avoid a squirrel, resulting in a pretty dramatic crash that tore up not only the Mustang but the minivan that he hit as well.

The accident happened on April 15, just before noon in West Shore, Pennsylvania near the 1,000 block of West Foxcroft Drive and Wormleysburg Borough. According to the small report released by the West Shore Regional Police Department, witnesses claimed the driver was traveling at high speed prior to the crash, which is easily noticeable given the damage to both vehicles involved. Apparently, nobody was hurt, and the van that was struck was unoccupied at the time of the crash. The driver was cited for “Driving Vehicle at Safe Speed” which is likely a typo in the report, and was likely written up as “Driving at an Unsafe Speed.” For now, the offending squirrel remains at large and is likely hunting his next victim at this very moment.

Update: Exclusive interview with Cranky the Squirrel shines some light on last weekend’s big Mustang accident. Keep reading to hear his side of the story.

Keep reading for the rest of the story

PostHeaderIcon Richard Hammond Proves Two Wheels Aren't As Good As Four By Falling Over

Look – cars are dangerous. They’re big and heavy and capable of propelling the human body to incredible speeds. However, unlike a motorcycle, cars enclose the driver in a protective cage of metal, and they use four wheels to keep from falling over, making them much, much safer than a motorcycle. Former Top Gear co-host and current The Grand Tour co-host Richard Hammond recently demonstrated this fact by eating a bit of the road while riding his motorcycle during a shoot.

Over on DriveTribe, the social media complement to The Grand Tour, Hammond made a post about the crash entitled “I’ve Checked And I’m Not Dead,” saying, “It’s true, I did fall off a motorbike whilst filming recently for The Grand Tour in Mozambique. I banged my head, yes, along with pretty much everything else apart from my left thumb, which remains un-bruised. Can’t tell you more yet about the how and why of it; that’s all for later in the year on the show. As for injuries; well put it this way, I don’t think I can get a book out of it.”

That last bit is a reference to “On the Edge,” a bestseller Hammond wrote a few years back chronicling the high-speed crash he had in September of 2006 when piloting a jet-powered drag racer at 288 mph. That crash left Hammond in critical condition and put him in the hospital for five weeks, suffering serious brain trauma in the process. And while this more recent incident isn’t quite as severe, it’s still reason for concern.

Continue reading for the full story.

PostHeaderIcon Pink Floyd's Drummer Crashes His McLaren F1 GTR

This past weekend, the Goodwood Circuit hosted the 75th Members’ Meeting, which brought (as usual) an impressive lineup of classic and more recent race cars to the iconic British track. Unfortunately, this event also saw a highly collectible car leave the track and slam into an outside wall. I’m talking about a McLaren F1 GTR driven by none other than Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason.

A fan of historic racing and noted classic car collector, Mason took his F1 GTR for a spin on the Goodwood track and things obviously didn’t work that well. Although the video doesn’t provide clues as to how the GTR slammed into the wall, it’s safe to assume that Mason lost control of the powerful race car and went spinning into the green. It doesn’t appear as if he was driving at high speed, but the damage is pretty extensive, with the front bumper, left fender, and left headlamp needing to be replaced now.

This isn’t necessarily an issue since McLaren still provides parts and even takes care of repair process, but bringing the car back to its original state will be pretty expensive. Especially if the suspension and electronics suffered damage too. Okay, so maybe Mason won’t have trouble paying for the repairs, but it’s still painful to see a rare car like this — only 28 were built — take damage. On the other hand, it’s actually good to see that Mason’s F1 GTR gets some track action instead of spending its life in a garage.

Mason, who recently turned 73, is a big classic and race car enthusiast, most known for owning various Ferraris. His collection includes one of the 39 Ferrari GTOs, an Enzo, and a 512S race car, among others.

PostHeaderIcon Tesla Driver Damages His Own Model S To Save Stranger's Life

Sometimes, heroism comes in the strangest of circumstances, and people who don’t consider themselves built in the mold of a Superman find themselves acting like one. Case in point: the 41-year old driver of a Tesla Model S who is hailed as a hero for intentionally causing damage to his pricey electric sedan, all in the name of saving the life of a total stranger.

According to German news outlet Muncher Merkur, the driver, named Manfred Kick, was on the German Autobahn when he chanced upon a Volkswagen Passat that was being driven erratically by its driver. The Passat even slammed into the guardrail a number of times. Curious to see what was going on, Kick pulled up alongside the Volkswagen only to notice that its driver was unconsciousness. From there, Kick sprung to action, accelerating his Model S and pulling in front of the Passat before slowly braking his car, making sure that the Passat could rest up against the rear bumper of his Model S until both cars came to a stop.

From there, Kick rushed to the Passat, climbed through the passenger door, and proceeded to give him first aid. It was then that another party hurried to the scene and called for emergency help. Once the fire department arrived on the scene, it determined that the unnamed driver of the Passat could have suffered a stroke while driving the car, rendering him unconscious.

But thanks to Kick’s quick thinking, the 47-year old Passat owner was taken to the hospital where, according to Muncher Merkur, he is now in stable condition.

Ironically enough, the police informed Kick that a preliminary investigation was opened against him as part of “procedure.” That said, it is unlikely that the Model S owner would be prosecuted as the local police department is considering giving him an award for his actions that ended with him saving a stranger’s life.

Continue reading for the full story.

PostHeaderIcon Worried About Self-Driving Cars Going Rogue? Looks Like Russia Has Had That Problem for Years

Naturally, the concept of fully autonomous has shed at least some light on the concern that cars could, in theory, go rogue and do things they aren’t intended to do. It doesn’t help that there have been many complaints of cars like the Tesla Model S, for example, choosing to accelerate on its own and smash into things. More recently, there was a Chevy Bolt owner that claimed his car magically turned on and smashed itself into a wall. Most of the reports of Tesla vehicles have been disproven and chalked off to owners trying to pass off blame for their own stupidity, but there is still a real fear there for some.

But, it doesn’t necessarily take self-driving technology for cars to go rogue. In the video you’re about to watch, which is mostly video from Russian dash cams, proves exactly that. Of course, most of them are the result of the owner not setting the parking brake, but there are a few that are quite questionable and look like the cars actually had a mind of their own. And, there’s a really weird clip at 6:08 that involves some creepy girl, a car, and a poor parking lot attendant that probably needed a fresh pair of boxers. You can try to make sense of that one when you see it, though.

With that said, go ahead and click play to enjoy 10 minutes of cars moving on their own.

PostHeaderIcon Scania R450 used in Berlin Terror Attack

Terrorists have again used a commercial semi truck to commit acts of mass violence, this time in Germany’s capital city of Berlin on December 19, 2016. The truck drove through a crowded town square full of people shopping the Christmas booths set up along a pedestrian area, killing 12 people and injuring 48 more. The act was done in a similar fashion as the truck attack in Nice, France on July 14, 2016.

The dozens of photos taken of the scene clearly show the horrific aftermath. Also clearly visible is the make of the semi truck. It is a Scania R450 with the R-Sleeper-Topline cab. Scania, a Swedish brand with a rich history, is 70-percent owned by Volkswagen and 17 percent owned by MAN, which itself is also heavily owned by Volkswagen.

The particular truck features a short wheelbase, and according to specifications on Scania’s website, likely has a 6×4 drive configuration, meaning the four rear tires drive the truck while the front tires only steer. The full-length trailer has six wheels, three on each side, and has canvas sides. The truck was reportedly stolen from the Polish trucking company Ariel Zurawski, named after its founder and current owner.

Reports say it was Zurawski’s cousin who was operating the truck on a route from Italy to Berlin when it was purportedly hijacked. Zurawski’s cousin was found shot to death inside the truck when authorities reached the scene. The hijacker has not been found. The truck was loaded with 25 tons of steel.

We will update this story if further details come to light regarding the truck.

Continue reading for more information.

PostHeaderIcon Student in Ferrari 488 GTB Finds Out Why You Shouldn't Have a Heavy Foot

It seems like there have been quite a few supercar accidents lately. There was that journalist in the new Acura NSX that supposedly crashed because of a bee, then, more recently, there was that McLaren 650 Spider that crashed in Southern California. And, let’s not forget about the Ferrari 488 GTB that was smashed up thanks to a jay-walking dog. Today, we’re talking about another 488 GTB, and this one has been declared a total loss. News-Gazette out of Champaign Illinois has reported that 18-year-old Lima Shen not only collided with a 2017 Volvo, but also hopped a curb, slid across 100 yards of grass, and ultimately came to a stop when it met the brick wall of a local barber shop.

There isn’t much information available about the accident at this time, but it has been reported that the owner of the barber shop is estimating at least $20,000 in damages while the 18-year-old owner of the GTB has learned an expensive lesson – one that’s set him back at least $245,000. Reports indicate that the driver had purchased the 488 GTB just weeks prior to the accident. Luckily, nobody was injured, but the driver has been cited for reckless driving and improper lane usage – apparently he saw The Fast and the Furious one too many times – and will be suffering from a bruised ego for quite some time.

You can really chalk this one off to another rich entitled kid who thought he was the man and failed miserably. Obviously, he had no business driving a vehicle with a 4.0-liter V-8 that has 659 horsepower and 560 pound-feet of torque. There’s no word on how fast the GTB was traveling when the accident occurred, but with the ability to hit 60 mph in around three seconds and a top speed of 205 mph, you can bet he was traveling well above the posted speed limit. After all, he did slide the length of a football field before smashing into that barbershop. Hopefully, Junior’s rich parents will think twice before buying their irresponsible child anything more powerful than a Toyota Camry.

PostHeaderIcon Unique Pagani Zonda Zozo Crashes in Tokyo

Supercars are fast, good looking (well, most of them at least), cool, and can be seen as a solid investment, but all come with a major downside, no matter the badge. With all that oomph available at a simple push of the gas pedal, they tend to go wild and push you off the road, especially if you’re not paying close attention or lack the necessary skills to handle it. When that happens, not only do they require expensive repairs (given they can be salvaged, that is!), but the occupants need a bit of luck to survive. Fortunately, the Zonda you see in the photo didn’t claim the life of its driver, but the owner will have to make a serious investment to get it back on the road again.

The car in question is the Pagani Zonda Zozo, a supecar commissioned by Yusaku Maezawa, the owner of the Japanese online retailer Zozotown. According to GT Spirit, the purple Zonda was smashed on December 3 somewhere in Tokyo, losing its front hood in the process. Information as to what happened specifically is scant, but things don’t look that bad and it appears that the car’s cockpit is intact. This means the occupant(s) escaped unscathed, which is the best news we can have following a car accident. The Zonda, on the other hand, will require an expensive visit to Horacio Pagani’s shop.

Although the damage isn’t very extensive, it’s heartbreaking to see any Zonda like that, especially with most models being unique. The Zozo is one of them, being designed with partially covered rear wheels, an extra set of red taillights, and a bespoke purple paint that makes it stand out just about anywhere. Fixing the car shouldn’t be an issue for Pagani, which has rebuilt previous unique models in the past (the Zonda Fantasma and Absolute come to mind), and I guess it’s safe to assume that Maewaza can afford to spend some serious cash to get it running again.

Speaking of expenses, it appears that the Zonda collided with the Maybach 62S seen in the same image. Now that’s a multi-million-dollar car crash right there.

Continue reading for the full story.

PostHeaderIcon iPhone 7 Bursts Into Flames; Destroys Car In The Process

The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 now has competition in the iPhone 7 in a category that neither wants any part of. Less than two months after a Galaxy Note 7 caught fire and burned down a Jeep Grand Cherokee with it, a similar fate befell an iPhone 7 when it too reportedly exploded while sitting under a pile of clothes in the car of a surfer who was giving surf lessons at that time.

According to Yahoo News Australia, Mat Jones was shocked when he returned to his car, which at that point in time, was already filling up with smoke. It wasn’t mentioned how the situation was contained, but in the aftermath of the terrifying ordeal, Jones discovered the burned down remains of the iPhone 7 and a pair of pants that was still on fire at that time.

The young surfer claims that he had owned the iPhone 7 for barely a week and hadn’t dropped it or used a foreign charger since buying it. Now he has no phone and no car, a double whammy to the gut if there ever was one.

For its part, Apple has since caught wind of the incident and is currently investigating the cause of the fire. An official statement has yet to come out, but given the magnitude and the media coverage it has received, I expect the tech giant to come up with an explanation sooner than later. Hopefully, Jones gets a new iPhone 7 and car in the process.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

PostHeaderIcon The Company Behind the Recent Takata Airbag Crash Ordered to Cease Operations

Remember that truck full of Takata air bags that crashed and exploded a couple of months ago, effectively leveling a house, killing one, and injuring a few others? Well, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has been investigating the accident ever since to determine just what happened. As it turns out, the driver of the truck entered a curve too quickly, which ultimately caused it to leave the roadway, tip over, and catch on fire — ultimately leading to the explosion. As is the standard procedure for accidents like this, the company that owns the truck – Industrial Transit – was also investigated and found to be in violation of several federal safety regulations. The FMCSA, in turn, issued an order for the company to immediately cease all operations as it is officially declared “an imminent hazard to public safety.”

Industrial Transit has just five trucks, all of which are normally used for hauling automotive parts for various companies. Most automotive parts aren’t considered hazardous material, but airbags are one of the few automotive parts that are. Be that as it may, Industrial Transit has failed to comply with driver qualification requirements, even allowing two drivers over the last few months to operate its trucks without a valid commercial driver’s license. It never implemented random alcohol and drug testing, has failed to keep up on regular inspection, maintenance, and repair of its fleet, and wasn’t monitoring how many hours its drivers spent behind the wheel. Drivers had no formal training for handling hazardous materials, and the company was apparently no good at filling out the necessary paperwork for hazardous materials either.

Sounds crazy right? Well, the FMCSA also found that some of the trucks had brakes that were out of adjustment, loose steering components, oil leaks, and one even had an unsecured fire extinguisher. The company could, ultimately, return to business as usual, but it must first bring itself up to speed, correct the violations, and undergo another full inspection by the FMCSA. If the company refuses to comply with the order to cease operations, it could be fined as much as $25,705. It could also be hit with a fine of at least $10,282 for operating “without necessary authority,” and could suffer a civil penalty of up to $14,502 for operating without a USDOT number. Anyone who violates the order could also be fined up to $25,000 and sentenced to up to one year in prison.

Continue reading for the rest of the story

PostHeaderIcon Bee Allegedly Causes Driver to Smash Honda NSX into Highway Divider

Of all the things to blame for causing a car crash, a bee’s sting ranks right up there as one of the weirdest of them all. Yet that’s exactly the excuse given by a Taiwanese journalist who claims that a bee stung him in the neck as he was test driving a Honda NSX, causing him to lose control of the supercar and crashing it into a highway divider.

The alleged journalist, identified by local Taiwanese media as “27-year old Hu,” was taking the 500-horsepower hybrid supercar for a test run on the Wang Kung Temple Provincial Highway in Taiwan with the windows down. According to Hu, a bee flew into the cabin and proceeded to sting Hu in the neck. The pain from the sting ended up forcing Hu to lose control of the NSX before the car ended up slamming nose-first into a concrete barrier. While it’s not yet verified, this incident could very well be the first NSX hybrid supercar to crash on a public road.

Photos and videos from the scene reveal a good amount of damage on the front-left side of the NSX, including the detachment of the front fenders on that side of the car. Fortunately, the journalist didn’t suffer worse injuries than the alleged bee sting, something he can credit to the airbags, which appears to have engaged judging from the photos.

Police officials did give Hu a sobriety test to make sure that he wasn’t intoxicated at the time of the crash. Test results reportedly came out clean so at least that’s one problem that he doesn’t have to answer to. Sadly, he still might be on the hook for the damages incurred by the NSX when it crashed.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

PostHeaderIcon Tesla Model S Crashes Into Florida Gym

Another day, another crash involving a Tesla Model S. This latest episode took place in late August in Lighthouse Point, Florida where a Model S abruptly accelerated as it was parking, causing it smash through a front window of a local gym. Fortunately, the nobody was injured from the crash, which the driver blames on the car accelerating by itself. Tesla has since reviewed the vehicle’s logs remotely and to no one’s surprise, it placed the blame on the driver accidentally pressing the gas pedal.

The accident is similar to a previous incident that occurred in California back. In that case, the driver also claimed that his Model X accelerated by itself, causing it to crash into a building. Tesla also blamed that crash to driver error after also reviewing the Model X’s vehicle logs.

The incident in Florida is the latest in a string of high profile crashes involving Tesla vehicles. A surveillance video from inside the gym captured the horrific accident. Halfway through the two-minute the video, the Model S appears in the video where it’s about to reverse into an available parking slot. Then in an instant, it accelerates straight into the front glass window of the gym, resulting in heavy damages to both the car and the property.

What’s worth noting is that had the accident occurred 40 seconds earlier, it could have taken a woman who looked to either be an employee of the gym or its actual owner. That’s about the only silver lining that happened in this crash and it’s going to be interesting how this incident is resolved.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

PostHeaderIcon Dramatic Footage Shows Car Crash That Killed Vladimir Putin's Chauffeur: Video

The favorite driver of Russian president Vladimir Putin lost his life when a Mercedes CLS sedan slammed into the BMW 7 Series the presidential chauffeur was driving on Kutuzovsky Avenue, a busy motorway located in the heart of Moscow.

Multiple CCTV cameras caught the whole incident on tape, from the moment the CLS started driving in the middle lane of the highway right up to when the Mercedes driver lost control of the car, slamming it head-on into the 7 Series that Putin’s driver was driving on the other side of the road. The impact saw the CLS violently spin before coming to a stop while the 7 Series remained prone as motorists and pedestrians rushed to the scene to attempt to help out the driver.

The unidentified chauffeur reportedly had more than 40 years of driving experience under his belt, but even that couldn’t prevent him from avoiding the out-of-the-control Mercedes before it crashed into the presidential car. According to reports, the chauffeur died upon impact while the driver of the CLS was sent to the hospital and is in critical condition.

The Russian president was not in the 7 Series as he was attending the G20 summit in China when the crash occurred.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

PostHeaderIcon Tesla Drops "Self-Driving" Phrase On Chinese Website After Reported Autopilot Crash

The Chinese auto market is the biggest in the world and it just might also be the most influential. Tesla found that out the hard way when it was forced to acknowledge a mistake it made on its Chinese website describing its Autopilot system as a “self-driving” feature. The terminology has since been scrubbed from the website and replaced with a phrase that more closely translates to “self-assisted driving.”

The brouhaha started when Luo Zhen, a Chinese owner of a Tesla Model S, sideswiped a stopped car along the side of a road when his Model S’s Autopilot system engaged. Luo spoke with Reuters in the aftermath of the incident, calling Tesla and its local sales staff out for misrepresenting the technology’s capabilities by touting its functions using a phrase that translated to “self-driving.” Luo’s claims of misrepresentation were corroborated by other owners of Tesla models in the country, with some, including Luo, even saying that demonstrators took their hands off the steering wheel and then took their feet off the pedals to showcase the system’s capabilities.

Tesla admitted that the crash took place but the normally stubborn automaker was also forced to take the unusual step of acknowledging the mistake it made on its website. A Tesla spokesperson spoke with Reuters after the changes in the website to deny that Luo’s crash and the publicity it generated were the reasons behind the edits. According to the spokesperson, the change was simply part of Tesla’s “ongoing work in improving translations.”

Unfortunately, a spin like that is as obvious as it is blatant. That or the timing of the edits in the wake of the crash’s publicity can be chalked up to a happy coincidence. In any case, Reuters also learned that the electric car maker has reached out to its staff in the country retraining them to inform future customers that the Autopilot system is a “self-assisted technology” and that drivers must always have their hands on the wheel when engaging the system.

It’s unclear if Tesla if going to make a similar move in rephrasing the system’s capabilities in other markets, but the fact that it had to do it in China goes to show how important that market is for the company and any attempts at pissing it off would be bad for business.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

PostHeaderIcon Lamborghini Huracan Breaks in Half, then Bursts into Flames in Chicago

It seems like accidents involving supercars tend to happen on a somewhat regular basis. Today, I’m here to talk about an accident involving a Lamborghini Huracan that met its untimely demise in the windy city over the weekend. Reports are still coming in from various sources, but as you can see from the image above, the Lambo not only split in half but caught on fire as well. Fortunately, witnesses on the scene were able to pull the drive from the wreckage just before it burst into flames.

For now, no official information has been released, but a report from NBC 5 out of Chicago says that witnesses claim a Lincoln MKS made contact with the Hurcane which ultimately sent it straight into the telephone pole that broke the car in half. The rear half continued in that direction until it struck a fence while the front half of the vehicle sat in the middle of the street. Reports indicate that the passenger cell that is built into the Huracan – much like that of other supercars like the McLaren 650S, for example – protected the driver like it was supposed to.

It’s an unfortunate happening for the driver of the Huracan – totaling a $240,000 car can ruin anyone’s week – but at least he walked away with his life. For now, Chicago police are still investigating the accident.

Continue reading for the rest of the story.

PostHeaderIcon Tesla Model S Owner In China Gets Into Autopilot-Related Road Accident

As if all the reported crashes involving Tesla’s Autopilot system in the U.S. aren’t bad enough, the American electric car brand has admitted that one of its cars in China has gotten into an accident while in Autopilot mode, adding another layer of scrutiny to the controversial driving assist feature.

The owner of the car, 33-year old programmer Luo Zhen, spoke with Reuters about the incident, which happened when the Model S he was driving sideswiped a stopped car along the side of the road. According to Luo, Tesla’s sales staff was at fault for the incident because they overplayed the system’s functions by describing it with a Chinese phrase that translates to “self-driving.” On top of that, Luo added that when he was being demonstrated the system’s functions, the demonstrator took his hands off the steering wheel and then took his feet off the accelerator.

Reuters also reached out to four other owners of Tesla vehicles in other parts of China, and the owners corroborated Liu’s story that Tesla’s front-line sales staff described the the function in Chinese as “self-driving” and that demonstrators also took their hands off the wheel of the car while demonstrating the function. The news agency added that the term “zidong jiashi,” which literally translates to “self-driving” can be seen several times on Tesla’s Chinese portal.

Not surprisingly, a Tesla spokesperson disputed those claims, saying that the company has “never described Autopilot as an autonomous technology or a ’self-driving car,’ and any third-party descriptions to this effect are not accurate.” The automaker also put the blame on Liu for not following the guidelines laid out by the system despite Liu’s claims of being misinformed by the company’s sales staff.

Fortunately, the accident resulted in no injuries for all the parties involved. That said, don’t expect this issue to die down anytime soon, especially in a tightly controlled market like China that’s in the process of drafting its own policy regarding the technology.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

PostHeaderIcon Tesla Comes up with Another Excuse for the Fatal Model S Accident

The blows to Tesla just keep on coming after the Model S accident that resulted in the first Autopilot-related death. Under pretty heavy scrutinizing, the company is under investigation by the NTSB to determine if the Autopilot system in that Model S is at fault, while the NHTSA is currently investigating whether or not the system poses an unreasonable risk to driver safety. As part of the ongoing investigations, Tesla has now reportedly told the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee that it has two theories of why the Model S in that fatal accident crashed, but somehow still manages to deny that the Autopilot system is at fault.

That’s the news reported by Reuters, which is citing a source that is “familiar” with the meeting. Tesla is apparently looking at two potential reasons for the crash. The first is that the radar and camera input for the emergency braking system failed to detect the truck and trailer. The other potential reason is that the system may have falsely discounted the input received indicating the trailer as an obstacle. According to Tesla, the system is designed to “tune out” structures like bridges or overhead signs to avoid braking under false pretenses.

So far Tesla has remained largely silent on the issue and the meeting, with the exception of suggesting that the camera and radar systems weren’t at fault. Tesla has confirmed to Reuters that the meeting has occurred, but has yet to disclose the major topics of conversation that occurred during the meeting. According to Reuters’s source, Tesla views the emergency braking system as a separate entity from the Autopilot system. For the record, it has been announced by the NTSB that the Model S involved in the fatal accident was doing nine mph over the posted 65 mph speed limit when the accident occurred.

PostHeaderIcon Tesla Autopilot Could be at Fault for Fatal Crash After All

Tesla’s launched it’s brand-new Autopilot system with much fanfare, but the advanced system is causing the American company a great deal of trouble. Elon Musk’s firm is not only dealing with three crashes in only a couple of months, but also a fatality that occured in May after a Model S collided with an 18-wheeler semi. The case has been under investigation for quite some time and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) issued its preliminary report into the crash. The agency claims that the car was speeding while using the Autopilot function.

According to system data downloaded from the Model S, the sedan was going 74 mph in a 65 mph zone while on Autopilot. This is interesting to say the least, as the system is supposed to prevent the car from speeding. On the other hand, the NTSB’s preliminary report didn’t provide any information on why the collision occurred or why the automatic emergency braking didn’t apply the car’s brakes to avoid the collision.

Granted, this is a preliminary report and a final verdict is far from being released, but the fact that the vehicle was speeding while in Autopilot pilot contradicts Tesla’s initial claims that it was the driver’s fault. Aside from the fact that the company openly admitted that the autonomous system didn’t “see” the truck.

As a brief reminder, the accident occurred when a semi truck drove across the highway perpendicular to the oncoming Model S, which struck and passed underneath the trailer. The sedan collided with a utility pole after coasting for some 300 feet before coming to a complete stop. A team of five investigators conducted the on-scene investigation and is still collecting data from the vehicle to further analyze the crash.

Continue readying for the full story.

PostHeaderIcon Two People Killed and Three Injured in Horrific Crash at Nurburgring

Image credit: @testdrivernews

Throughout the year, the Nurburgring has what is called touristenfahrten, which loosely translates to “tourist rides.” Basically, when there is nothing going on at the ‘Ring, the general public can apply and purchase tickets to drive their own vehicle on the Green Hell. Pricing ranges from 1 lap or 15 minutes for €29 (about $38) to 25 laps at 15 minutes per lap for €550 Euro or about $605. It sounds like a fun adventure and all – I would love to take a few laps in my 1993 Acura Legend myself – but this last weekend something went horribly wrong for one couple in what appears to be an early ‘90s Honda Civic Hatchback.

According to SWR Fernsehen, the car you see in the image above was occupied by a man and his girlfriend. As the driver came into a curve in the Kesselchen section of the track, his excessive speed combined with the wet roads, caused him to lose control of the car, sending it skidding sideways into a safety car that was tending to another accident. The driver and passenger of the Honda Civic were killed (assumingly on impact) while the two track marshals tending to the other accident were injured. A nearby tourist is reportedly suffering from shock but, like the track marshals, is expected to be okay.

Upon investigation of this story, I was able to find another image of the red Civic prior to the accident (not shown here.) Sadly, the driver’s girlfriend wasn’t even wearing a helmet. There was a warning light to advise those on the track to lower their speed in light of the accident that had already taken place, but the driver either didn’t see it or failed to heed the warning.

Keep reading for the rest of the story.

PostHeaderIcon Is Tesla Involved in a Cover-Up over the Model X Crash?

The driver of the Tesla Model X that crashed in Montana while its Autopilot system was engaged has now published an open letter, accusing Tesla of covering up the problems that have plagued the Autopilot system.

According to Electrek, the driver identifies himself as Mr. Pang and claims that he was never able to explain himself to Tesla before the automaker issued its own conclusion that Pang was to blame for the accident that saw the Model X crash into 12 barrier posts after plowing through a safety barrier post. The driver added some pretty harsh words for the company, saying that Tesla was trying to “cover up the lack of dependability of the autopilot system.”

For its part, Tesla has maintained that the accident was all Pang’s fault because data logs showed that the driver’s hands were not on the steering wheel even after multiple warnings. The automaker added Pang was in violation of the terms of agreement between the driver and the automaker on the proper use of the Autopilot system. Apparently, Tesla is requiring everybody who uses the Autopilot system to have at least a small amount of force on the steering wheel so that the system can detect the presence of a driver sitting behind the wheel. Tesla argued that Pang not only had his attention elsewhere when the car’s autopilot system was engaged, but more importantly, his hands were not on the wheel, hence the slow reaction time when the car ended up crashing into the barriers.

While Pang admitted that his hands were not on the wheel, he’s still convinced that the Model X’s Autopilot system crashed by itself, adding fire to the increasing number of cases of Tesla vehicles crashing because of their autonomous driving technology. It’s unclear how this issue will be resolved, but from the look of things, Pang is hoping to to get Tesla on the table to discuss the supposed issues plaguing the company’s Autopilot system. The automaker has yet to issue a new statement addressing Pang’s allegations, but given the serious nature of the driver’s accusations, don’t be surprised to hear Tesla release a new statement addressing the allegations.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

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